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Extremely helpful member
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Feb 23, 2014
Lost a loved one
Matt has been gone four months, and it feels like a lifetime. On the other hand, I think I'm just now mourning what we went through. All the losses that I was unable to mourn because we were too busy trying to live--I think they are battling their way out of the box I locked them in at the time.

And here I thought that when he flew free I'd be able to share his joy. How silly of me. Well, I am joyful for him, but I forgot that one day I'd start remembering the healthy years and have time to dwell on what I lost (as well as what he suffered). I don't like feeling this way.

I thought that moving away from ALS would help me. Yes, I am rejoining the world (and even watching news, not that that's much of a comfort), but I think I need my family here. I also think that I'm losing something by moving away.

Maybe I also need to mourn my other losses. I was supposed to visit mom in January, but I was sick. Before I could get there she had two serious strokes and never work up. I drove to Georgia in time to help my sister get mom moved to a hospice facility. Mom was already total care (no walking, no use of either hand, and suffering dementia). It was too easy for me at the time--it was the only thing to do and I just did it--without tears. Now they are mixed with other tears.

The day mom died, my son's dog died. Then within a couple of weeks, my dad's second wife (of three) a passed away. I called to tell my dad and wife #3, but dad does not remember either of his two other wives. Then my father-in-law's lady of decades broke her hip. She had advanced Alzheimer's. They did surgery, but she stopped eating and soon joined the rest of the crowd on the other side. I did not cry for any of them at the time, because it really was their time to be free.

Why is it that we can know it's time to let these people go, and yet we still have to feel pain about their passing? It should be celebrated. I really, really don't understand what the tears are about. Well, intellectually I don't.

Lordy. I just said out loud that I don't want to be crying over the normal cycle of life, and I swear I received Matt's response--then don't. OK, I'm calm now. I'm going to leave this here, because it helps to share. Thank you for listening. I'm calm now, and can go enjoy the day.

I first titled this thread "what now?", but just changed it. Now I need to chose life. I need to embrace life and all that comes with it, and that means not trying to forget, run away from, or use the past as a shield and excuse to shut myself off out of fear of more pain.

How's that for therapy? You, my friends, are awesome.


Oh Becky I am so sorry. Maybe it was everyone’s time but still very hard to take all so close together.

Many hugs
Becky, I lost a 32 year old wife back in 1990. I remember it all. It will take time
but you'll be fine from what you have written.

Until then continue to write your journey.

Thankfully you are a beautiful writer for all of us. Thank you.
You, my friend, are awesome!

Four month after did something to me, too. Even without a host of other tragedies. I'm so sorry for your losses.

Writig is good therapy on your own schedule. Keep at it, I already like to read your posts.
I'm sorry too for the losses you have suffered. It's ok to cry. It's the missing that makes me cry even now 18 months later. Wishing that my PALS could have enjoyed this life just a bit longer. But I also smile at times when I think about past memories that remind me of him. It sounds like you've been through a lot. One day at a time. That's all you can do.
There are no free passes here. While I understand the sentiment of the "Celebration of Life", it seems to suppress the basic need to express the fact that this really sucks. I'm in no way advocating a return to Victorian mourning rituals, but the emphasis on funny stories i doesn't allow for the tears that need to flow. You are an amazing person if you have made it this far. You'll come out of this, you just have to put in the time. No free passes.
Al, I had no idea that you had lost a wife so young. That must have been very hard.

Becky, that is a long litany of losses, free from their disabilities though they may be. I'm so sorry.

I have been feeling some measure of loss today, which would have been Larry's 70th birthday. Still muddling through year 5 and not feeling like I've done enough with those years so far.
Becky what a powerful outpouring of the realities of grief.

I too had a whole range of losses all around and about me in that first year after I lost Chris. Every one just seemed to gouge out the would of loss even more and I wondered how I was going to come out of it at all.

Being able to write all that down and acknowledge your grief, all the losses and how it feels to lose has hopefully been cathartic to you in its own way.

I think there is a difference between knowing it is time for suffering to end for someone, and experiencing the loss that is for you. Kind of makes a tug of war of the conflicting feelings.

Laurie these are all so hard aren't they, even 5 years later. It's quite unseen, no one I know would think to ask me now how I'm doing so far as grieving, but we know we are. Muddling through is how I've always described it, quite the perfect fit really! My Chris would have been 60 this year.
Becky I’m so glad you came to share all of this.

Not sure how far back you made it in my journal, but I lost my Dad Feb 1. It hardly seems fair that we had to lose our spouse, best friend our lover and then get pummeled with other loses as well. Sometimes I have to ask myself, why am I crying and who am I crying over.

I hope you’ll continue to post. I’ve found it helpful, to still be among this family and have a place that understands my grief.

I met my wife Ann in 1997. We married in 2003. Her husband died
in a helicopter crash in 1989. We had so much in common of what
life was like the years after our spouses had tragically passed.

Things friends said to both of us just months and a year or two after…
“You’ve got to work on getting over it” “I know it’s hard but you
need to move on with your life.” And the one Ann and both I heard…
“There’s someone I’d like you to meet.” and how then both of us took
it somewhat offensive, made us cringe but we didn’t show it.

Their intentions were well meant but… they just didn’t know, they
really had no idea.

They were the few of all but it’s what Ann and I remembered as we
shared our experiences and we grew closer. Again, not all but…

When Ann I met AOL “You’ve got mail” was the rage. When we lost
our loved ones the Internet didn’t exist.

This sub-forum is so valuable, so helpful, such a wonderful place for
CALS who lost loved ones, to be able to share their stories and
emotions as each day goes by… going forward from the one day they
will always remember.

Here you can share, learn and relate. Ok, I’ll step out of this forum.
Becky, that is a lot of loss in a short time. Thinking of you.
Al, you are always welcome here. Truly. Your story reminds me of a couple who approached us when we had the first van, the one with ALS all over it. They had each lost a spouse to MS. Clearly they found great comfort in someone who understood what they had been through (and I suspect who understood and honored the place their late spouses will always hold in their hearts(.

Sue, I think I did know that your’d lost your dad. I’ve been pretty wrapped up in my own “experience”, so I’m sorry that I wasn’t there for you.

Tillie—why did I not realize that Chris was so young? Your hell, although shorter (that living hell period) was so much more brutal than what I experienced, and you have both created something wonderful on your land AND continue to support this community. When I grow up I want to be you.

Laurie, I understand feeling the need to be productive/useful/whatever, but I sure hope that you give yourself credit for what you do here. You have helped more people than I will ever touch. Everyone who stays here makes this place a treasure, but your particular detailed

Vincent, I’ve been big with the humor, and have been shocked to learn that I may have more trouble now than during Matt’s illness. Thank you for reminding me that this is not a weakness on my part—just more of what this monster dishes out.

Nikki, Wish, JLynn, Lenore—thank you for being here and chiming in. It seems that turning my back on ALS meant leaving some of my most important friends behind—and I think that is part of what I’ve been suffering.

Today’s goals: a trip to the bank to replace mom as the beneficiary on one of the accounts and to get paperwork certified to have some electronic bonds transferred to me that she made me the beneficiary on. Call NC Quick Pass folks and set up a new account, because the online system won’t recognize my zip code/county combination (my zip covers two counties=), finish and fax paperwork to get credit union account into the trust so the kids won’t have trouble when I go (yes, I”m putting my affairs in order as I settle Matts), and take Heidi to my SIL’s house for training with her new electric fence. She keeps Heidi when I travel, but can’t turn her loose because that dog still does not come when called. SIL just got a new dog and is putting in the fence for her, but purchased an extra collar so that Heidi can join them when she’s there. Goals...if I don’t clearly outline them, all I do is lay around.
Becky I merely mentioned my father, so you knew you were not alone in battling extra losses.

I too am trying to get all my affairs in order as I settle Brian’s as well. I have some paperwork awaiting me when I get back. Plus trying to get Mom’s stuff all fixed from losing Dad.

And yes, I too have to have a list or I sit around as well. While I think it is good for us to do some sitting, I also thing it’s good for us to get things accomplished. I have a long list to start on when I get back.

Hugs and I’m so glad you are back.
So glad your back Becky! I still want to take that caregivers trip! If any of you are interested, I will start a thread and see about planning one.
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